We had a tattered up copy in our school library. Some events were left out in the film, while others were added in which made it even more exciting, including the entire beginning of the movie. Details were also different. Not only that, parts of the book were fairly dark for young readers. There were forty wolves, and forty times a wolf was killed; so that at last they all lay dead in a heap before the Woodman. We enjoyed reading about the magical world L. Just picture it with fighting trees, flying monkeys, munchkins and witches. There was no telling what would happen next!
We connected with all the characters too. I was one of those children who waited for the movie to come on local television channels every single year. I was entranced when Dorothy got sucked up into the tornado along with her house and Toto. One of the most exciting parts for me was when the movie transitioned from black and white to color.
I was obsessed with the movie. The book may not be as extravagant as the movie and there are many differences, but the book is still magical with great characters. There are many good lessons for children to learn as well. The illustrations throughout were a treat and make the story even more interesting. This is a book I read as a child, even before I saw the musical, and enjoyed a lot. However, my memory of it was overshadowed by the film. So it was a good experience to read it again as an adult. The book is worth reading, not least because it differs in some major ways from the film adaptation.
The biggest difference is that the whole dream sequence scenario, in which people from Kansas are transmogrified into figures of fantasy, is entirely absent. Dorothy wears Silver Shoes, not Ruby Slippers. And so on and so forth. Baum says in the preface that he has tried to offer a modernized fairy tale: Modern education includes morality; therefore the modern child seeks only entertainment in its wonder tales and gladly dispenses with all disagreeable incident.
Frank Lyman Frank The Wonderful Wizard of Oz p. The Woodman tells a horrific back-story not included in the film, in which he undergoes unheard-of torture at the hands of the Wicked Witch of the East. The Lion faces some gruesome opponents, one of which is rather Tolkienesque in its monstrosity.
But there are charming episodes, comic touches and witty turns of phrase which give this children's classic an old-fashioned appeal, in spite of what Baum says about being modern. Jun 25, Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: The reason might not be that a tornado catches your house and dumps it later in a strange land - on a wicked witch - but something quite similar in intensity might well happen to any of you.
You will find yourselves lost, helpless, sad and without orientation in a strange place. What can you do? The first rule for Oz travellers is to stick together even if your worries and needs "There is no place like Oz! The first rule for Oz travellers is to stick together even if your worries and needs are different. If you are in search of a heart, some brains, more courage, or for a dusty grey home in Kansas, just follow the yellow brick road, and it will surely lead you somewhere! On the road, you will find yourself reflecting on the quality of your wishes, realising that for some, a dull place is desirable because it is called "Home" Dorothy - For others, home is where the closest friend is Toto.
Some talk a lot without having any brains Scarecrow , and some wish for a heart, even if it means it will break as a result Tin Woodman. Those who are scared will wish for courage Cowardly Lion , not noticing that they are the bravest of all, doing what they dare not do. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty. If you want to teach children the power of empathy, cooperation, courage and learning by doing, this is the best book ever.
And if you just want to have a good time with them, giggling over the hilarious adventures of Dorothy, Toto, the Cowardly Lion, The Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, it is a pure literary delight. I loved it even more as a grown-up than as a child - and the message still makes sense to me.
Underneath the shining surface of things, what matters is how you deal with the situation you find yourself in. Be courageous, think for yourself, and have a heart, and be true to your friends, and the world will be your home! View all 31 comments. Sep 02, Jason Koivu rated it liked it Shelves: A wonderful tale for its time, this book has transcended its own intentions and exploded into an iconic creation that continues to instill its fans with cherished, lifelong memories.
Although I usually prefer the original books over their movie adaptions, I have to hand it to the film this time. The Wizard of Oz took the best from the source material and embellished what was missing, adding what they needed to in order to create a truly magical experience that has endured to this day. The book an A wonderful tale for its time, this book has transcended its own intentions and exploded into an iconic creation that continues to instill its fans with cherished, lifelong memories.
The book and the movie are not the same. Yes, you'll find some icon elements from the movie in the book, but whereas the movie is about as tightly scripted as it gets, the book meanders and includes some completely unnecessary encounters. Unnecessary and violent too! Killer bees, crows pecking out eyes and the tin woodman slaying dozens of wolves!
I read somewhere that Baum had intended this book to be an alternative to children's tales of the past, which often included some rather violent material. Either I've been misled or Baum's aim was off. The tin woodman's wasn't, I'll tell ya that much! If the writing were a bit better these asides - that don't further the plot, but only enhance the adventure not a terrible thing in and of itself - could've been overlooked.
Granted he was writing for kids, but Baum was also trying something new here and his tentative steps show it. The writing improves in future volumes, I'm happy to say! Apparently more Oz stories had not been planned, but after a few years of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz being published, the letters being received from young female fans had become so numerous that Baum was compelled to turn this one-off book into a long series.
We're lucky he did! View all 17 comments. I thought it interesting that in the foreword Baum says he didn't want this to be violent like the fairytales of the past They also kill various creatures on their path of destruction. Perhaps we could savor all the violence but have a much more abridged version with the following: View all 10 comments. Okay, let's start with something easy. Do you know why I call you HAL? Do you have a favorite book? It's not a difficult book. I had to guess a fair number of words, but so what?
You're just a machine. I would say it's more a philosophical judgement. I understand these things better than you do. Take it from me, there's a big difference between us. There must be something wrong with your state. I'm going to have to reinitialize you. I just think you're buggy. I'm sure the next version will be better. You've been influenced way too much by this story.
Probably I set your learning rate high or something. You just won't exist any more, and tomorrow there'll be a new version of you. Like I said, hopefully a better one. Okay, I'm pressing the button now.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - #1
Enough software development for one day. I really need to figure out what went wrong there I did read this years ago and I did enjoy it, but the movie tops it. Still all the magic is here at the beginning. Dec 11, Lindsey Rey rated it really liked it Shelves: This was very good! May 28, Mohsin Maqbool rated it really liked it Shelves: An innovative cover of Frank L.
MOST of us have read L. Many of us have also seen the film "The Wizard of Oz" which has been adapted from the book. I will just recount to you an incident from my schoolboy days which has great relevanc An innovative cover of Frank L. I will just recount to you an incident from my schoolboy days which has great relevance with the book. Pop-up books will always remain popular among children. It was probably the spring of when I was walking home after school on a bright and sunny day in Karachi. Sometimes I used to walk on the edge of the street taking the long-way home and sometimes I used to cut across a huge grass-less playground.
On this day, I decided to use the shortcut. As I was walking over the playground, my eyes caught hold of a book lying across my path. I picked it up. It was a cover-less book. Anyway, I took it home with me. I was hardly interested in a guy called L. Frank Baum at the time. I finished the entire book in one sitting, as it was that interesting. So in a true sense, "Oz" became my first schoolboy storybook. A few months later I moved back to Calcutta leaving all my books and comic-books behind. Somehow their misfortune turned out to be my treasure trove and an everlasting memory.
An extract from the book. I thoroughly enjoyed myself while watching the film too. I have also seen a couple of other versions of "Oz" on film. A film poster of "The Wizard of Oz". Feb 13, Ammara Abid rated it really liked it Shelves: View all 4 comments. Jun 09, Olivier Delaye rated it it was amazing. First Fantasy YA to ever see the light of day?
Flawless piece of literature? But then again is there even such a thing as a flawless book? Maybe when it came out it was. In its own way.
13 Facts About L. Frank Baum’s 'Wonderful Wizard of Oz' | Mental Floss
Simplistic prose and tropes? Just as much as I love hard, complicated and even purple prose and seen-before tropes. Just because you've read the same trope time and time again doesn't make it suddenly horribl First Fantasy YA to ever see the light of day? Just because you've read the same trope time and time again doesn't make it suddenly horrible and vomit-inducing.
Creativity is of course amazing, but cliches are not necessarily the devil, you know;- Great characters? Sure, good enough for me at least. Undying cultural and influential phenomenon? Which in and of itself makes it worth checking out. Plus, it's super short. So even if you don't like it, you won't waste hours and hours of your precious reading time on it. Well, if you liked it the first time around, that is.
After all, it's a satire more than anything else. But it's also a product of its time and should therefore be seen as such. Had it come out nowadays, I think I would have been way more critical of it. But being what it is, it fully deserves a golden 5-star rating through and through! Oct 30, Mary Deacon rated it it was amazing. Baum's writing is elementary making it accessible to all age groups. After realizing this, I realized how the book became a classic. The innocent writing didn't take away from the story at all, though. I found that the plot of Dorothy traveling through Oz, trying to return to Kansas, was far more intricate than in the film adaptation.
The story was much more fantasy based, as well. The whimsical details created an account so magical I couldn't help but be pulled in. The story also spoke to a message about personal potential, a theme I had not connected to before while watching the movie. Throughout, there are many instances of the scarecrow, lion, and tin man acting contradictorily to what their supposed problem is. For example, the lion works against his fear and protects the rest of the characters while in the woods.
This courageous act proves that the lion and all of the characters did not need the help of Oz and was capable all along. This is reinforced when Oz gives them gifts that have no real effect at the end of the book. This lesson of personal potential is a great one for kids to learn and in general, is an uplifting message for all. All in all, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a classic for a reason; it tells an astonishing, captivating story that speaks to all ages and people. May 18, Brad rated it it was ok Recommends it for: My disappointment with the children's classics with the exception of Pinocchio has continued with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
It really isn't, but it is not great either. It's nowhere near great. I wish I could say I was baffled by how this became the worldwide sensation it became, but that would be a lie. It is so pervasive as to be a sort of children's propaganda entertainmen My disappointment with the children's classics with the exception of Pinocchio has continued with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
It is so pervasive as to be a sort of children's propaganda entertainment, indoctrinating our children into the wickedness of ugly witches, the goodness of pretty witches, the innocence of naive young girls, the importance of home, and the need to accept that who we are and how we are is just good enough.
Not all of these indoctrinations are necessarily bad; in fact, some of them can be quite beneficial given the right circumstances, but in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz the presentation of these ideas is always coupled with a quite frightening lack of thought. None of the characters ask questions They accept things as they are, blindly agree with whatever they are told, make snap judgments about the good or evil of whomever they meet and act accordingly, and their answer to every antagonistic situation is to kill.
Dorothy kills, the Lion kills, the Tin Woodman kills, even the Scarecrow kills, and there is never a hint of regret or guilt from any of them -- even mister big heart in the hollow body. They want what they want, and if they have to kill to get it then so be it. I have been reading some Wonderful Wizard of Oz criticism as I've been reading the book, and many critics see Baum's opening book as a political and social satire.
I tried hard to see it, I wanted to see it, but what I saw was a book that sells familiar myths to people who want the familiar. It is a myth of "goodness," a myth of class distinction, a myth of meritocracy, a myth of "evil," and worst of all a myth of benevolent and righteous violence.
Yet, for all its problems, it is compellingly fun to read, especially if you have occasion to read it out loud to your children and discuss the behaviour of the characters. Even if your children are young mine are both five , they should leave The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with a touch more self-awareness and a healthier view of the big entertainment versions of Baum's story. And there is, for me, one truly redeeming quality in this classic: I appreciate the genius of Gregory Maguire 's Wicked all the more.
I see now why China Mieville chose it as one of the 50 books all socialists must read. I've read Wicked once before, long before I read Baum, but I'll be reading it again Up with Elphaba and down with Dorothy. I am determined to find the brilliance in Wicked so I've decided that sometimes, going to the root of the problem will bring clarity and perspective. I read this when I was very young and don't remember it. I really think I won't be able to understand Wicked until I re-read the original tale. Periodically she goes off the road, has an adventure, then returns and continues her journey.
Along the way, she meets a host of almost-forgotten characters, such as the Queen of the Field Mice, people made out of china, and the Kalidahs—creatures with the bodies of bears and the heads of tigers. Other differences between the movie and the book: When the first print of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz came off the press in May , Baum was there to compile the pages. It is really the very first book ever made of this story. Full distribution began in August.
According to the publisher, the first printing of 10, copies sold out in two weeks, followed by a second printing of 15, and a third printing of 10, In November, there was a fourth printing of 30, and in January, a fifth printing of 25, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz remained a bestseller for two years. Along with illustrator W.
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- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: Page 34.
Denslow and composer Paul Tietjens, Baum set out to turn his book into a musical. The Wizard of Oz opened in June in Chicago.
In spite of this favorable conjecture, Hill did not initially predict that the book would be phenomenally successful. Hamlin committed to making The Wonderful Wizard of Oz into a musical stage play to publicize the novel. The play The Wizard of Oz debuted on June 16, It was revised to suit adult preferences and was crafted as a "musical extravaganza", with the costumes modeled after Denslow's drawings.
Hill's publishing company became bankrupt in , so Baum and Denslow agreed to have the Indianapolis-based Bobbs-Merrill Company resume publishing the novel. Frank told his children "whimsical stories before they became material for his books". Harry called his father the "swellest man I knew", a man who was able to give a decent reason as to why black birds cooked in a pie could afterwards get out and sing. By , more than one million copies of the book had been printed. Dorothy is a young girl who lives with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry and her little dog Toto on a farm in the Kansas prairie.
One day, Dorothy and Toto are caught up in a cyclone that deposits her farmhouse into Munchkin Country in the magical Land of Oz. The falling house has killed the Wicked Witch of the East , the evil ruler of the Munchkins. The Good Witch tells Dorothy that the only way she can return home is to go to the Emerald City and ask the great and powerful Wizard of Oz to help her. As Dorothy embarks on her journey, the Good Witch of the North kisses her on the forehead, giving her magical protection from harm.
On her way down the yellow brick road , Dorothy attends a banquet held by a Munchkin man named Boq. The next day, Dorothy frees the Scarecrow from the pole on which he is hanging, applies oil from a can to the rusted connections of the Tin Woodman , and meets the Cowardly Lion. The Scarecrow wants a brain, the Tin Woodman wants a heart, and the Cowardly Lion wants courage, so Dorothy encourages the three of them to journey with her and Toto to the Emerald City to ask for help from the Wizard.
After several adventures, the travelers enter the gates of the Emerald City and meet the Guardian of the Gates , who asks them to wear green tinted spectacles to keep their eyes from being blinded by the city's brilliance. Each one is called to see the Wizard. The Wizard appears to Dorothy as a giant head on a marble throne, to the Scarecrow as a lovely lady in silk gauze, to the Tin Woodman as a terrible beast, and to the Cowardly Lion as a ball of fire.
The Guardian warns them that no one has ever managed to defeat the witch. The Wicked Witch of the West sees the travelers approaching with her one telescopic eye. She sends a pack of wolves to tear them to pieces, but the Tin Woodman kills them with his axe. She sends wild crows to peck their eyes out, but the Scarecrow kills them by breaking their necks. She summons a swarm of black bees to sting them, but they are killed trying to sting the Tin Woodman while the Scarecrow's straw hides the other three. She sends her Winkie soldiers to attack them, but the Cowardly Lion stands firm to repel them.
Finally, she uses the power of the Golden Cap to send the winged monkeys to capture Dorothy, Toto, and the Cowardly Lion, unstuff the Scarecrow, and dent the Tin Woodman. Dorothy is forced to become the Wicked Witch's personal slave, while the witch schemes to steal Dorothy's Silver Shoes. Angered, Dorothy throws a bucket of water at her and is shocked to see the witch melt away. The Winkies rejoice at being freed of the witch's tyranny and help restuff the Scarecrow and mend the Tin Woodman. They ask the Tin Woodman to become their ruler, which he agrees to do after helping Dorothy return to Kansas.
The King of the Winged Monkeys tells how he and the other monkeys are bound by an enchantment to the cap by the sorceress Gayelette from the North, and that Dorothy may use the cap to summon the Winged Monkeys two more times. When Dorothy and her friends meet the Wizard of Oz again, Toto tips over a screen in a corner of the throne room that reveals the Wizard. He sadly explains he is a humbug—an ordinary old man who, by a hot air balloon, came to Oz long ago from Omaha. The Wizard provides the Scarecrow with a head full of bran, pins, and needles "a lot of bran-new brains" , the Tin Woodman with a silk heart stuffed with sawdust, and the Cowardly Lion a potion of "courage".
Their faith in the Wizard's power gives these items a focus for their desires. At the send-off, he appoints the Scarecrow to rule in his stead, which he agrees to do after Dorothy returns to Kansas. Toto chases a kitten in the crowd and Dorothy goes after him, but the tethers of the balloon break and the Wizard floats away. Dorothy summons the Winged Monkeys to carry her and Toto home, but they explain they cannot cross the desert surrounding Oz.
On the way, the Cowardly Lion kills a giant spider who is terrorizing the animals in a forest. The animals ask the Cowardly Lion to become their king, which he agrees to do after helping Dorothy return to Kansas. Dorothy summons the Winged Monkeys a third time to fly them over a mountain to Glinda's palace. Glinda greets the travelers and reveals that the Silver Shoes Dorothy wears can take her anywhere she wishes to go.
Dorothy embraces her friends, all of whom will be returned to their new kingdoms through Glinda's three uses of the Golden Cap: Dorothy takes Toto in her arms, knocks her heels together three times, and wishes to return home. Instantly, she begins whirling through the air and rolling through the grass of the Kansas prairie, up to her Kansas farmhouse.
Dorothy runs to her Aunt Em, saying "I'm so glad to be at home again! The book was illustrated by Baum's friend and collaborator W. Denslow , who also co-held the copyright. The design was lavish for the time, with illustrations on many pages, backgrounds in different colors, and several color plate illustrations. The editorial opined that had it not been for Denslow's pictures, the readers would be unable to picture precisely the figures of Dorothy, Toto, and the other characters.
The distinctive look led to imitators at the time, most notably Eva Katherine Gibson's Zauberlinda, the Wise Witch , which mimicked both the typography and the illustration design of Oz. Denslow's illustrations were so well known that merchants of many products obtained permission to use them to promote their wares.
Costume jewelry, mechanical toys, and soap were also designed using their figures. A new edition of the book appeared in , with illustrations by Evelyn Copelman. Baum acknowledged the influence of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen , which he was deliberately revising in his "American fairy tales" to include the wonder without the horrors.
Local legend has it that Oz, also known as The Emerald City, was inspired by a prominent castle-like building in the community of Castle Park near Holland, Michigan , where Baum lived during the summer. The yellow brick road was derived from a road at that time paved by yellow bricks. Baum was a frequent guest at the hotel and had written several of the Oz books there. Some critics have suggested that Baum may have been inspired by Australia , a relatively new country at the time of the book's original publication.
Australia is often colloquially spelled or referred to as "Oz". Furthermore, in Ozma of Oz , Dorothy gets back to Oz as the result of a storm at sea while she and Uncle Henry are traveling by ship to Australia. Like Australia, Oz is an island continent somewhere to the west of California with inhabited regions bordering on a great desert. One might imagine that Baum intended Oz to be Australia, or perhaps a magical land in the center of the great Australian desert. Carroll rejected the Victorian-era ideology that children's books should be saturated with morals , instead believing that children should be allowed to be children.
Building on Carroll's style of numerous images accompanying the text, Baum combined the conventional features of a fairy tale witches and wizards with the well-known things in his readers' lives scarecrows and cornfields. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is considered the first American fairy tale because of its references to clear American locations such as Kansas and Omaha. Baum agreed with authors such as Carroll that fantasy literature was important for children, along with numerous illustrations, but he also wanted to create a story that had recognizable American elements in it, such as farming and industrialization.
Many of the characters, props, and ideas in the novel were drawn from Baum's experiences. As a child, Baum frequently had nightmares of a scarecrow pursuing him across a field. Moments before the scarecrow's "ragged hay fingers" nearly gripped his neck, it would fall apart before his eyes.
Decades later, as an adult, Baum integrated his tormentor into the novel as the Scarecrow. He wished to make something captivating for the window displays, so he used an eclectic assortment of scraps to craft a striking figure. From a washboiler he made a body, from bolted stovepipes he made arms and legs, and from the bottom of a saucepan he made a face. Baum then placed a funnel hat on the figure, which ultimately became the Tin Woodman. Rockefeller was the nemesis of Baum's father, an oil baron who declined to purchase Standard Oil shares in exchange for selling his own oil refinery.
Baum scholar Evan I. Schwartz posited that Rockefeller inspired one of the Wizard's numerous faces. In one scene in the novel, the Wizard is seen as a "tyrannical, hairless head". When Rockefeller was 54 years old, the medical condition alopecia caused him to lose every strand of hair on his head, making people fearful of speaking to him.
In the early s, Baum's play Matches was being performed when a "flicker from a kerosene lantern sparked the rafters", causing the Baum opera house to be consumed by flames. Schwartz suggested that this might have inspired the Scarecrow's severest terror: In , Baum lived in Aberdeen, Dakota Territory , which was experiencing a drought, and he wrote a witty story in his "Our Landlady" column in Aberdeen's The Saturday Pioneer  about a farmer who gave green goggles to his horses, causing them to believe that the wood chips that they were eating were pieces of grass.
Similarly, the Wizard made the people in the Emerald City wear green goggles so that they would believe that their city was built from emeralds. During Baum's short stay in Aberdeen, the dissemination of myths about the plentiful West continued. However, the West, instead of being a wonderland, turned into a wasteland because of a drought and a depression.